I grew up in a small town in upstate New York in the Catskill Mountains. My parents owned an inn and restaurant, where I spent my childhood and teen years working and meeting all kinds of people. While I did not realize it until later, growing in up in such a setting fostered my interests in sociology, the environment, and food.
I majored in political science and minored in sociology as an undergraduate at St. Lawrence University. The focus of both of these disciplines on contemporary society and the various issues and problems facing it strongly appealed to me. After graduating from St. Lawrence, I went to Michigan State University for my graduate studies. In 2007, I received my PhD in sociology from Michigan State.
I have been a member of the Sociology Department at Sam Houston State University since 2009. Today, I am an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology.
My research examines relationships between political economic structures and practices and social change. I am particularly interested in how changes in governance processes are affecting equality, justice, and sustainability in the food and agriculture system. Currently, I am part of a USDA funded multi-university research team that is studying the capacity of private forms of governance to facilitate sustainability transitions in U.S. agriculture.
Classes Taught: Sociological Theory, Environment and Society, and Social Movements
Research Interests: Food and Agriculture, Environment, Social Change, Governance
- Konefal, Jason and Maki Hatanaka. 2019. Twenty Lessons in the Sociology of Food and Agriculture. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Konefal, Jason, Maki Hatanaka, and Douglas H. Constance. 2019. "Multi-stakeholder Initiatives and the Divergent Construction and Implementation of Sustainable Agriculture in the United States." Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 34: 293-303.
- Konefal, Jason. 2013. "Environmental Movements, Market-based Approaches, and Neoliberalization: A Case Study of the Sustainable Seafood Movement." Organization and Environment. 26: 336-352.